Frontal top-down cortical neurons projecting to sensory cortical regions are well-positioned to integrate long-range inputs with local circuitry in frontal cortex to implement top-down attentional control of sensory regions. How adolescence contributes to the maturation of top-down neurons and associated local/long-range input balance, and the establishment of attentional control is poorly understood. Here we combine projection-specific electrophysiological and rabies-mediated input mapping in mice to uncover adolescence as a developmental stage when frontal top-down neurons projecting from the anterior cingulate to visual cortex are highly functionally integrated into local excitatory circuitry and have heightened activity compared to adulthood. Chemogenetic suppression of top-down neuron activity selectively during adolescence, but not later periods, produces long-lasting visual attentional behavior deficits, and results in excessive loss of local excitatory inputs in adulthood. Our study reveals an adolescent sensitive period when top-down neurons integrate local circuits with long-range connectivity to produce attentional behavior.